Law Enforcement’s job is to serve and protect but one Salt Lake City (SLC) police officer took his duties too far and arrested a University of Utah Health nurse who was doing her job and the officer did not follow proper procedures.
Nurse Wubbles was approached by SLC police officer Payne, who came to the hospital to get a blood sample from a victim in a fatal car crash that happened earlier in the day.
Payne came to the hospital to get a blood sample from a victim in a fatal car crash in Cache County that happened earlier in the day. Wubbels would not allow him to get that sample saying he did not meet one of the three requirements for drawing blood. He didn’t have a warrant, the patient didn’t give consent and the patient was not under arrest.
Wubbles also had the backing of her bosses and many others in the hospital. One of them was on the phone with her and could be heard telling Det. Payne, “Sir you are making a huge mistake right now”
Payne wouldn’t take no for an answer, and that is when the arrest was made.
“We are done, we are done, you are under arrest,” is what Det. Jeff Payne said on his body camera video on July 26.
The video was given to the news media by attorney Karra Porter during a press conference with nurse Wubbels. Wubbles could be heard in the video screaming as she’s being hauled away, “You’re assaulting me stop! I’ve done nothing wrong! This is crazy! This is crazy”
“I just feel betrayed, I feel angry and I feel a lot of things,” said Wubbels during the press conference. “The only job I have is to keep my patient safe. Blood is your blood that is your property. When a patient comes in in a critical state that blood is extremely important. I don’t take it lightly.”
In the video Payne’s partner could also be heard trying to calm his partner down during the arrest.
Another officer is heard saying, “I don’t think this arrest is going to stick.”
A short time ago, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski stated:
“Like many of you, I watched the video of police officers interacting with University of Utah Medical Center nurse Alex Wubbles for the first time through the media late yesterday. What I saw is completely unacceptable to the values of my Administration and of the values of the Salt Lake City Police Department. I extend a personal apology to Ms. Wubbles for what she has been through for simply doing her job.
There is currently an Internal Affairs investigation examining the actions, and the Civilian Review Board is conducting a parallel investigation. I have reiterated to Chief Brown that I expect the highest level of professionalism and integrity from his team. I have also instructed Chief Brown to conduct a thorough review of all policies and trainings to ensure respect for all individuals, in all situations. Following the incident Salt Lake City Police Department command met with hospital administration. We immediately changed policies that may have been a factor in this encounter, and the officer’s duties have been modified.
I take these incidences very seriously. Since I took office, I have been working with Salt Lake City Police Department to increase our use of de-escalation techniques and we have had great success, and this incident is a troubling set back to those efforts. No medical professional in Salt Lake City should be hindered from performing their duties, and certainly not be fearful of the police officers they so often partner with to save lives.”
As to why the officer decided to ignore protocols is unknown at this time but he should have known better.
As a supporter of Law Enforcement, Payne’s actions do not reflect the majority of police officers that serve our communities.
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